ITALIAN RYE GRASS. 89
moisture. It does not do well on stiff, heavy clays or on very dry soil. No grass repays fertilizers as well as does Italian Rye and where the soil is kept rich by liquid manure the returns are very large. In the valley of the river Po, in northern Italy, where the rich, loamy land is irrigated, and on the sandy soil in the vicinity of Edinburgh, Scotland, irrigated by the sewage from the city, it yields almost incredible quantities of forage. Although of more southern origin than Perennial Rye, it thrives comparatively far north. It is doubtful, however, whether it is of any general importance for Canada. It may be of value for the Pacific coast.
Habits of growth: The perennial quality of Italian Rye is not so outstanding as that of Perennial Rye Grass. It is rather short-lived and generally disappears after the second year, especially if it is allowed to produce seed. It starts early in the spring and where liquid manure is given the growth is so rapid that ten tons of grass to the acre have been obtained six weeks after sowing. It loses its flavour and nutritive value more quickly than does Perennial Rye and for this reason it should be cut when the spikes begin to develop. Where conditions are favourable it may be cut three or four times in a season.
Italian Rye Grass was probably first cultivated in northern Italy. It is recognized as a good fodder plant in most European countries and is grown extensively, especially in England and Scotland.
Agricultural value: On account of its early start and rapid growth, Italian Rye is a hay grass of outstanding merit, where the climate is favourable, either alone or with other grasses or clovers. It is a fine pasture grass for short rotation, relished by all kinds of stock. Sheep, on being turned into a field sown with Italian Rye and Red Clover and cut for hay, prefer the grass to the clover. It makes a valuable feed for dairy cows, and, in spite of its succulence, does not produce purging in the animals. On account of its high yield it is said to be unrivalled among the grasses for soiling, and its rapid growth makes it useful for the suppression of noxious weeds.
Seed: What has been said about growing Perennial Rye Grass seed applies to Italian Rye, though the latter has a far greater disposition to shell its seed and for this reason must not be cut too late.
Quality of seed: The seed of Italian Rye Grass is similar to that of Meadow Fescue and very like that of Perennial Rye. It